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100-plus students participating in the Groovystuff by Design Challenge this spring

DALLAS - More than 100 students from six universities will participate in the Groovystuff by Design: Connecting Education with Industry Challenge and will debut their designs at the spring High Point Market in The University Hall of Innovation & Job Creation, April 20-25.

Participating schools include Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, Columbia College - Chicago, University of Idaho, University of Minnesota, North Carolina State University and Appalachian State University.

The challenge requires students to design an accessory, accent or occasional home furnishings product that utilizes or reconfigures the reclaimed material that exemplifies the Groovystuff product line and is competitive enough to be included in the celebrity Dick Idol Legends brand. The six universities will debut the results of the design challenge at the spring High Point Market.

When asked what it meant for ASU to adopt the Groovystuff by Design Challenge for the second time since 2010, Professor Alyssa Coletti said, "Groovystuff gives the students detailed, direct feedback explaining their materials and market to the students. This inside view helps the students understand the furniture industry beyond aesthetics. Re-purposing otherwise un-usable items into new products is a particularly challenging exercise for industrial designers, as most new products are created with virgin materials.

"One perk of the project is the story behind the re-purposed materials and knowing that someone's lifelong tools get a second chapter," she said. "The thought of where those wagon wheels once traveled and the yokes on the bulls that pulled them conjures beautiful thoughts of the Thai countryside. For the students and myself, I'm very thankful for the opportunity to work with a company that practices real sustainability rather than just a marketing exercise."

The University Hall of Innovation & Job Creation is an industry co-operative created by Groovystuff founder Chris Bruning that bridges the gap between education and the residential home furnishings industry. The University Hall of Innovation & Job Creation provides an opportunity for students and professors to network with retailers, designers, manufacturers, suppliers, journalists and industry professionals at the High Point Market.

Students from each school will submit a 20" x 30" product board, a ¼" scale model and a 42" tall pedestal for their models for a chance to compete in the "Popular Vote at Market" for the High Point Market. The winning design from each school will receive a $250 cash prize.

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